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PCC Streetcar Returns Home to El Paso

Sun Metro in El Paso, TX, recently welcomed home the first of six renovated PCC streetcars, which operated on the city’s streets between 1950 and 1974, in anticipation of the launch of a new streetcar line late this year.

Streetcar No. 1506 is painted teal and cherry red, one of the city’s three original color schemes from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Each of the six vehicles will have a unique style and color scheme, with single and double interior seats and accommodations for riders needing wheelchair access.

Sun Metro Director Jay Banasiak said, “It’s an authentic car, but we’ve added some things to it to make it more modern. Wi-Fi, air conditioning, LED boards and accessibility for disabled riders are among those modern upgrades.”

Carl Jackson, assistant director of streetcar operations, added, “This is going to be something for everybody—for the older generation, younger generation and for the tourists. It is a fundamental change for El Paso that people will end up loving.”

The streetcars will run in two loops, through El Paso’s uptown and downtown areas, serving a total of 27 stops, two of which are at transfer centers. Both loops will interconnect an international bridge, numerous businesses and restaurants, government buildings, the University of Texas at El Paso and other locations. The Texas Transportation Commission provided $97 million for the project.

El Paso’s transportation history began with the introduction of mule-drawn cars in 1882, carrying passengers to and from the U.S. and Mexico. The city began operating electric streetcars by the 1890s and bought 17 of the streamlined PCC streetcars from San Diego in 1950.

A renovated PCC streetcar returns to El Paso, TX, to resume service late this year.

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